Story Workshop in Surrey Schools – Promoting early literacy, ownership, and personalization of learning

Story Workshop is a classroom structure initially developed at Opal School to support language and literacy. Evolving over time, teachers are finding that the use of rich materials such as clay, paint, props, or blocks can play an integral role in language development, and strongly support children to see themselves as storytellers and authors. This happens, for example, when a child is playing at the water table and imagines or remembers a story. As the child continues to play and explore his story, he may consider more details, the sequence may become stronger, and the language the child uses to tell the story becomes more clear and powerful. The stories come alive!  Story Workshop is a powerful example of Universal Design principles at work and therefore strongly supports the needs and rights of all children to learn.  We are finding that Story Workshop is resulting in strong literacy skills, strong relationships, and the ownership and personalization of learning. (Adapted from Opal School)

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6 thoughts on “Story Workshop in Surrey Schools – Promoting early literacy, ownership, and personalization of learning”

  1. Paramjeet Chatrath says:

    Thanks for the wonderful workshop which gives wonderful ideas that we can use in the class for teaching storytelling.

  2. Manita Gandham says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Liz McCaw says:

    It’s wonderful to have insights into how story workshop is evolving in BC schools. I hope that you and your colleagues continue to share your teacher research through blogging and offering workshops. Thanks so much for the contribution, it is very much appreciated!!! Here in Nanaimo we are very envious of your Reggio Inspired professional learning opportunities.

    1. Antonio Vendramin says:

      Thanks for this Liz. We are blessed, as all districts are, to work with fine educators who continue to learn themselves. The teachers in the video continually open their doors to colleagues wanting to learn more about Story Workshop. What I think is most important, as the Surrey educators mentioned, is using professional judgment based on what teachers know about their learners, and adapting to provide access points for all. Thanks for your feedback!

  4. Matt Karlsen says:

    It’s exciting to see how the structures of Story Workshop are inspiring conditions that develop young authors in Surrey. I hope that you and your colleagues continue to find Opal School a resource – whether through visits to Portland or online classes at

    1. Antonio Vendramin says:

      Thanks for this Matt. We did have a large group from Surrey visit Opal School in Portland over the break. We continue to learn from the wonderful work being done there!

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